–“This dog man is a roundworm* in my stomach, right? Is that how it is?”
While Xu Xinyi was still in a daze, Yi Yang put down his documents and tossed the magazine down in front of her. Then he looked at her deeply and said, “Speak.”
Xu Xinyi was feeling very confused. Usually when she looked for trouble with Yi Yang, he would alway just ignore her antics and look at her calmly like he was viewing a show. Every time they interacted she would have the illusion that she was being stared at by the director while filming on set.
“Who is this man under the mosaic? How did you know each other, how long have you known each other, and what is your relationship now? Why did he get in your car with dishevelled clothes? Where did you two go after he got into your car? Make it all clear to me, one by one.”
Yi Yang spoke clearly and methodically. He sounded calm and did not seem to have the anger that a husband would be expected to have when his wife was suspected of having an affair.
–“Why are you so dull even when suspecting an affair?”
–“Seems like it’s still up to me to set the mood.”
Xu Xinyi was not a vegetarian after so many years of film and television experience. She immediately began to tremble and cry. Then she lifted the quilt, got out of bed barefoot, and walked over while wiping away tears. She sat down beside Yi Yang with a frown.
“Yi Yang, let me explain, the two of us are not like how this article wrote…”
“’The two of us’?” Yi Yang was keenly aware of this intimate way she used to refer to them.
–“Yes! Yes! That’s the way! Be nitpicky and don’t let go of any details. Keep pressing!”
“I mean he and I, our relationship is not like what this magazine says, we were just together in the same company before. But our work had little overlap and that day was the first time we met alone.”
“Alone? You let him ride in your car even though it was the first time you two met?”
“You don’t understand, he’s quite pitiful actually. He’s so handsome but because of some issues he can’t stand out in the company…”
“Handsome?” Yi Yang sneered, “How handsome?”
“Not handsome!” Xu Xinyi hurriedly corrected herself, “He’s not even half as handsome as you!”
–“My conscience hurts a little bit.”
“He was being bullied and he just happened to bump into me. You might not know but the entertainment industry is difficult to mix around in, the water is very deep. If he had been photographed with that black and blue face, it would be all over the tabloids the next day. So he asked me for help and I softened in the moment. I just gave him a ride back. We really didn’t do anything else.”
“But when I look at the picture it seems that there is no bruising on his face.”
“The picture is blurry and mosaiced so of course it’s not clear.”
Yi Yang nodded. “That is to say, you have no evidence that what you are saying is true?”
–“Good question! A man should be so rigorous! Pursuing science and stressing evidence!”
Xu Xinyi had a nervous expression on her face and her fingertips were clutching at the corner of Yi Yang’s clothes. She looked aggrieved and anxious, her performance was very detailed.
But she did not continue to explain, she just said: “Yi Yang, you have to believe me, I didn’t do anything.”
With this it should be enough to arouse Yi Yang’s suspicion and curiosity and bury a bomb in his heart that could detonate at any time. Although this was a trivial matter, in life it was often little things like this piling up in their hearts that forced people to make up their minds.
“Believe you? How can I believe you if you can’t even produce the evidence?” Yi Yang got up and got up and picked up the magazine from the bed. “I will give you one night to figure out how to explain it to me, otherwise, this magazine will appear in front of grandfather tomorrow morning.”
Xu Xinyi stared at him blankly.
–“In front of his grandfather?”
–“What does he mean to do? Blackmail me?”
–“Really can’t play with a dog man! And you want to go to your parents? Are you a child?”
“This… This is a matter between us two, husband and wife. Grandpa, he is already old and in poor health, so you shouldn’t bother him with such a trivial matter, right?”
Yi Yang nodded. “OK. Then I’ll give the magazine to my mother tomorrow and listen to what my mother has to say.”
–“Old man, look in the mirror. You haven’t been one year old for at least 330 months, and you have been weaned for more than 300 months! But here you are saying, ‘I want my mommy. I want to drink milk.’”
–Mama’s boy, Bah!
“There’s really no need to do that. Why bother our elders with these things…”
“Huh, you also know that matters between a husband and wife shouldn’t be used to bother the elders?”
Xu Xinyi instantly understood that Yi Yang was trying to settle accounts from the time she went to find his grandfather after he had refused to help her with terminating her contract with Tianyu.
–…really is a dog man, mind so small and narrow. It has already been in the past for such a long time, but he still remembers?
So he just wanted to get back at her?
“Don’t you just want me to explain? I explained to you that, in fact, Jiang Nian was arranged by the company to accompany others to drink at the Yonghe Club that night. He was beaten up because he didn’t want to, which is why he’s so disheveled in the photo, and it wasn’t just me and Jiang Nian at that time, Anya was also there. You can just ask Anya tomorrow if you’re not convinced. If you still don’t believe, I can go to the Yonghe club in the morning and dig out their surveillance tapes for you! “
Xu Xinyi gritted her teeth after being forced to explain so clearly and said, “Husband, is there anything else you want to know?”
“It does seem pretty clear…” Yi Yang looked at her silently, as if he was thinking about whether or not Xu Xinyi’s explanation should be believed.
Seeing him putting on airs, Xu Xinyi really wanted to bite him to death.
“OK, I’ll trust you on this for the time being. But don’t get too close to other men in the future. If I’m the only one who sees it it’s okay but what if grandfather and mom see it? It wouldn’t be good to have a misunderstanding. What do you say?”
–“This dog man! Threatening! Me!”
–“They say, fortune was on the east bank thirty years ago, but turned to the west after thirty years had passed**. So I’ll endure for now! You just wait for me!”
Silently contemplating the idea of knocking the bastard’s head off, Xu Xinyi smiled and said, “Don’t worry, I know what to do in the future.”
WeChat suddenly chimed. There was a message on her phone.
The room was so quiet that the sound of the message was clearly audible.
They both looked down at the phone’s screen.
Jiang Nian: Sister Xinyi, are you asleep?
This was awkward.
Yi Yang looked at her coldly.
Xu Xinyi picked up her phone from the table and explained: “He must have sent me a message so late because he saw what was in that entertainment magazine.”
“You added him on WeChat?”
–“…why can this dog man always find something to pick at!”
–“You know that we added each other’s WeChat! You saw it! You just open your mouth all day long going ‘blah blah blah’!”
“Yep. So did Anya.” With that said she looked at Yi Yang with bewilderment. “Didn’t you say you wouldn’t interfere with my social circle? I still have a lot of male friends in my circle of friends. You don’t want to stop me from talking with them, do you?”
“Yes, I said I wouldn’t interfere with your social life but I think you could avoid some more useless social activities.”
“… it’s not a useless social activity. Jiang Nian is actually pretty good.” Xu Xinyi recalled Jiang Nian and pondered about it carefully.
He was good-looking, good at dancing, and humble. He was maybe a little too cautious, but in the entertainment industry, who could survive without caution?
What was scarier were the people that were stupid and unresourceful. Who had no sense of caution and did not plan and fight for themselves.
At the Yonghe clubhouse that night, Jiang Nian had rejected the arrangement of Tianyu, and the consequences were obvious: either he would be banned directly or discreetly buried. It wasn’t like Tianyu was his personal company.
–“If we can find a way to get Jiang Nian to terminate his contract. We can dig him up and cultivate him well, after all, a good seedling will always grow into a towering tree.”
When Yi Yang heard this, he understood Xu Xinyi’s intentions and let the matter drop. “Since you have nothing to do with him I’ll let it go this time. But there will be no next time.”
Xu Xinyi rolled her eyes secretly.
Finally it was over.
Xu Xinyi, who lost the battle, rolled around in bed and became more and more angry remembering Yi Yang pressing her step by step. She learned her lesson and vowed to set a more suitable battlefield next time!
And, as soon as she turned over, she took away the quilt from Yi Yang.
At the moment, Jiang Nian, who was in the headquarters of Tianyu Company, was sitting on the floor of the dance studio and staring at his phone without saying a word.
But the phone screen was black and there was no movement for a long time.
Jiang Nien put away his phone and said calmly, “To be exact, I have been buried by the company.”
“Buried? What happened? “
He looked calm, as if he really didn’t care about it, and fiddled with his phone while he spoke, “I offended one of the company’s investors, so the company wants to bury me.”
“So hasty! Why would you offend the company now! What are you going to do? I remember you signed an agreement for five years! “
“It doesn’t matter. Five years is five years. I’ll just hide. I long knew there would be such a day and I never intended to stay here.” Jiang Nian, who had been watching his phone for a long time, got up and patted the other member on the shoulder. He smiled and said, “From now on, big_five will be big_four. Anyway, I’ll go first.”
“Where are you going?”
“Where else could I be going? Of course, I’m going to find a job to make a living.” Jiang Nian didn’t look back but just waved his hand. “See you.”
Out of the Tianyu Building, Jiang Nian stood by the side of the road, looking down at WeChat’s chat interface with Xu Xinyi’s info pulled up.
On the chat interface, only the sentence he sent out an hour and a half ago: Sister Xinyi, are you asleep?
There had been no response.
He could not help recalling the scene where he ran into Xu Xinyi that night. He was chased, blackmailed, and beaten, and was in a weak position throughout.
So, is he too embarrassing? Will Xu Xinyi look down on him because he had no power to fight back?
It seemed the words ‘equal society’ were only words.
If they were true then how could he be so humble that anyone can step on him?
There was a steady stream of cars on the road, and the noise drowned out the tone of the message from his cell phone, but the vibration roused him from his thoughts.
His frown loosened a bit, but when he put his eyes on the screen, he found that it was not a message from WeChat, but a text message from his cell phone.
… it was a strange number.
–Kid, being banned, isn’t time to come home?
A brand new Maybach sped up and parked in front of him.
The window slowly lowered and the darkness inside was deep, a place where streetlights and passing headlights could not reach.
Jiang Nian peered inside, then turned around expressionlessly and dropped his cell phone into a trash can by the side of the road.
*idiom reference here. The idiom is literally ‘a ringworm inside one’s stomach’ and it means that the other person is so close to you that they know even your thoughts (cos what’s closer than a ringworm right?)
**so this is a proverb (三 十 年 河 东， 三 十 年 河 西) and it basically means that the world is always changing so it’s impossible to predict what the future will be like. Hence Xu Xinyi is willing to wait until her luck gets better I guess